Accord reached over loyalty oath

The California State University system and a Quaker college instructor who balked at signing a state-required loyalty oath have reached an agreement that allows her to teach and attach a statement to the oath.

Wendy Gonaver, 38, said the oath, with its promise to “defend” the U.S. and California constitutions against all enemies, contradicts her Quaker pacifist beliefs.

Under the agreement, brokered by CSU and People for the American Way Foundation, Gonaver will be allowed to attach a statement to the oath stating that “such compulsion violates my right to freedom of speech.”

“And, as a Quaker, in order to sign the oath in good conscience, I must also state that I do not promise to undertake to bear arms or otherwise engage in violence,” the attached statement continues.

Gonaver will teach two classes this fall at Cal State Fullerton, according to People for the American Way Foundation, a liberal nonprofit.

The state-run school system had objected to a previous statement Gonaver attached to the oath, believing it undermined the pledge, which is required of all state employees.